Taming the Tigers
BASILE – A combination of a time consuming ground game and a suffocating defensive effort gave the Basile Bearcats a huge 14-0 win over the Oberlin Tigers here Friday night in a key district match-up for both squads.
The Bearcats’ domination on both sides of the ball was evident in their 261 yards of rushing and the fact that they only allowed the Tigers to penetrate into their territory once the entire game.
With the win, Basile moved to 5-3 on the season and 4-1 in district play. This win marked the fourth win in a row for the Bearcats.
“I did not realize that they had only crossed the 50-yard line one time all night,” said a surprised Basile head coach Kevin Bertrand. “We had focused all week on stopping (James) Kirklin all week long because we thought he was their best player. And, our defense stepped up to that challenge tonight. Our strong safety, Jacob McGee played a heck of a game, making them turn it up and not letting them get to the outside. This was a big win for us, now we have to re-focus and get ready for next week.”
Oberlin won the toss and elected to defer to the second half, giving the Bearcats the football to start the game at their 43-yard line. Basile’s running game was featured right out of the box as they put the ball in the hands of their two veteran backs, Logan David and Andre Reed, who carried the ball three out of the first four plays, moving the pigskin down to the Oberlin 35-yard line.
After a Dawson Ashford to Jaylon Thomas 15-yard pitch and catch on third and nine, David and Reed were fed the ball on the next three plays, with Reed bowling over the Tiger defense for a two yard touchdown run on the ninth play of the drive. Jacob Guillory tacked on the extra point and the Bearcats held the early 7-0 lead with 8:39 left to go in the first quarter.
Oberlin opened its first possession on its 20-yard line after the kickoff and came out in an unfamiliar offensive set. The Tigers, using a Power-I formation, were able to move up to their 47-yard line in seven plays, but, the Basile defense stiffened forcing Oberlin to punt.
“We had not seen them in that formation on film,” commented Bertrand. “But, we had practiced on it when we played Merryville, so it was not a big stretch for us to line up and defend it.”
The Bearcats took over possession on their 18-yard line and put together another very impressive drive. Using up a ton of the clock, Basile drove down to the Tiger 19-yard line in 16 plays. Unfortunately, the drive stalled when the Bearcats could not come up with a one yard on a fourth and one situation, as Basile wound up turning it over to Oberlin on downs.
The rest of the first half was uneventful, as neither team could get much going offensively. When the first half horn sounded, the score remained 7-0 in favor of the Bearcats.
Oberlin received the second half kickoff and was forced to punt after picking up a total of 16 yards on the drive. A Kirklin punt on fourth down rolled all the way to the Basile five-yard line, where it was downed, pinning the Bearcats deep in their territory.
But, being backed up in the shadow of their own goal line did not deter the Bearcats. Basile proceeded to slash the Tiger defense with huge chunks of yards on the ground. Five plays later, Reed bolted his way to the end zone from 26 yards out to add to the Bearcat lead. The extra point was good and Basile now held a 14-0 lead with 5:49 left in the third quarter.
“That drive was the turning point in the game,” said Bertrand. “The way our defense played the entire night, that score allowed us to hang our hat on the defense and be more conservative than we had been in the first half. ”
From that point on, the Bearcats pretty much controlled the line of scrimmage and the game. Oberlin could never get their offense on track, with their deepest penetration coming mid-way through the fourth quarter, as they made it to the Basile 48-yard line.
Reed led all Bearcats with 120 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns. David added 97 yards on 15 carries.
Ashford was five for seven for 48 yards through the air.
Basile will travel to Grand Lake this Friday.